Starting the countdown early can boost Facebook engagement ahead of new TV show series

Starting the countdown early can boost Facebook engagement ahead of new TV show series

Game of Thrones achieves a higher level of Facebook engagement in the month running up to the new season premiere by starting the countdown earlier than other TV shows.

This case study is part of our Engagement Deficit series, which aims to provide examples of brands who are sustaining high Facebook engagement. A few weeks ago, we introduced the Engagement Curve, showing that the proportion of people engaged within a Facebook community drops as the fanbase gets larger. For products such as TV shows, the task is especially challenging as they need to sustain engagement between series and build excitement in the run-up to a new season.
We analysed engagement during the month before the latest premiere of TV shows such as Game of Thrones, The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl and 90210. We found that Game of Thrones, which is due to premiere on March 31, outperforms other TV shows with four times more engagement than average. Closer inspection of each TV show’s strategy reveals that the posts which receive the highest fan responses are countdowns, which announce the number of days until the premiere. However, the key to Game of Thrones high engagement is that they started the countdown much earlier than other shows and started building excitement for the new series further from the TX date.
Game of Thrones has four times as much Facebook traction during the month before a premiere:

The earlier the countdown starts, the higher engagement a TV show gets in the month before the premiere:

  • Game of Thrones post their first countdown 20 days before the premiere: This helps them achieve higher engagement in the month before the premiere compared to other TV shows who start their countdown later. The Vampire Diaries started their countdown seven days before the premiere, whilst CW's 90210 and Gossip Girl started just four days before

Engagement picks up when TV shows start posting countdowns:

  • Game of Thrones' earlier countdown start leads to higher engagement overall: Engagement spikes at T-30 days with the announcement of the new series, but drops quickly after. Starting the countdown 20 days before the premiere means engagement starts to pick up again up sooner than for other TV shows and more successfully builds excitement
  • Vampire Diaries has lower engagement due to later countdown start: Vampire Diaries engagement also peaks at T-30 days with the announcement, but then remains low until T-7 days, when they begin posting daily countdowns

Countdown posts, as well as the announcement trailer, drive high fans responses for Game of Thrones:

Game of Thrones 20 day countdown: 117,000 likes, 17,000 shares and 3,000 comments

Vampire Diaries 7 days countdown: 198,000 likes, 16,000 shares and 5,000 comments

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